Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brand Name vs. Generic: Part 2

Part 2: Brand Name vs. Generic

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Brand Name Malted Milk Balls
Brand: Whoppers
Price: 3 bags at $.89 each, $2.67
Size: 1.75 ounce
Review: Invites you to let it melt in your mouth the way a malted milk ball should.

Generic Malted Milk Balls
Generic: Kroger Chocolate Malted Milk Balls
Price: $1.50
Size: 6 ounce bag
Review: The generics are big and clunky, with a thick, shiny, waxy chocolate coating and a mildly mushy malt center.
Verdict: The real Whoppers are better. They are more delicate: the malt center is crisp, the outer chocolate is thin and fine.

Brand Name Cheese Curls
Brand: Cheetos Crunchy
Price: $2.49
Size: 5 oz.
Review: Nice crunch, but you taste more salt than cheese.

Generic Cheese Curls
Generic: Kroger Crunchy Cheese Curls
Price: $1.69
Size: 7 oz.
Review: Cheesier and more satisfying
Verdict: The Kroger brand is actually better. It feels more dense. They still turn your fingers orange. It's everything I want in a cheese curl.

Brand Name Shortbread
Brand: Walker's Shortbread
Price: $3.99
Size: 5.3 oz
Review: Buttery and delicious, but kind of pricey.

Generic Shortbread
Brand: Walgreen's Shortbread Fingers
Price: $2.99 or 2 for $5
Size: 5.3 oz
Review: Made by Walker's too, but not that much cheaper.
Verdict: I bought the Walgreen's shortbread thinking that cheap shortbread is better than no shortbread at all, but I was suspecting disaster. Then I tasted it. It was just as buttery as I hoped. No stinginess with ingredients. As it turns out, Walgreen's buys the shortbread from Walker's -- one of the very few instances of a name brand making its own competition. Then again, it’s not that much cheaper.

Brand Name Yogurt
Brand: Stoneyfield Lowfat Raspberry Yogurt
Price: $.99
Size: 6 oz.
Review: Creamy, delicious, but container is too small.

Generic Yogurt
Generic: White Rose Raspberry Lowfat
Price: $.69
Size: 8 oz.
Review: Amazingly creamy and delicious for a store brand yogurt. Bigger size, but more sugar and calories.
Verdict: Generic yogurt used to be poor quality. The last time I tried it, it was gelatinous, almost slimy. This time I was amazed at how creamy the White Rose yogurt was. The downside is that White Rose has nearly twice as much sugar and calories as Stonyfield.

Brand Name Frosted Flakes
Brand: Kellogg's Frosted Flakes
Price: $4.49
Size: 17 oz.
Review: A bowl of these had large, crisp flakes with sweet frosting evenly distributed and slightly glossy.

Generic Frosted Flakes
Brand: Pathmark Frosted Flakes
Price: $2.99
Size: 17 oz.
Review: While the flakes were a little smaller, darker and not shiny, there was virtually no taste difference.
Verdict: The significant savings makes it more than worth the price -- and the generic goes on sale as much or more so than the name brand, making it sometimes an extra special value.

Brand Name Diapers
Brand: Pampers Baby Dry, Size 4
Price: $44.99
Size: 176 case
Review: There's a reason Pampers are the industry standard -- they fit, they absorb and they don't smell. In a large case from or a warehouse store, they are cost-effective.

Generic Diapers
Brand: Lulla-Bee (Pathmark brand diapers)
Price: $22.99
Size: Case of 92 diapers
Review: For one penny difference per diaper, there's no reason to go for diapers that are bulky, bunch up and don't absorb odor. They are truly stinky.

Tell us about your favorite store brand or generic product!


warren said...

Hey, now this is some cool stuff. We always buy store brand cereal and lots of other things...except poptarts...stick with the brand name poptarts! Anyhow, good blog! I'll be back!

Deb said...

Hi Carolyn! Great post! I love Malted Milk Balls. You are so right stick with the name brand on the milk balls the others are all the pitts. Deb

Rue said...

Hi Carolyn :)

Great post! I buy the store brand baggies because they're half the cost and work just as well :)


Homekeeping Heart said...

How neat that you did your own product comparison tests. I usually buy store brands on most things. However, I ONLY buy name brand tuna!